Award winning novelist Chimamanda Adichie joined a number of distinguished Americans, including filmmaker Spike Lee and Nobel Prize Winning Neuroscientist Richard Axel to receive the Johns Hopkins University honorary degree on May 18, 2016, at the institution’s 2016 commencement ceremony.
Commencement speaker for the ceremony, Spike Lee, known for his interrogation of racial tensions through his films, notably the 1989 movie Do The Right Thing, charged the graduates to work towards unity.
“Let’s build bridges of love versus walls of hate,” the veteran filmmaker said, closing his speech with the famous words, “black lives matter.”
The recipients of the honorary degrees each shared nuggets of wisdom with the graduates via a video available on the University’s website, and Ms. Adichie had this to say to the graduating seniors.
“Eat real food as often as you can and embrace ignorance. Say those words ‘I don’t know.’ Because by embracing ignorance we open up the possibility of knowledge.”
In 2003, Ms. Adichie completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University.